Issue 45

Harnessing Digital Technology to Improve Safety and Engagement

One of the country’s foremost logistics companies is harnessing digital technology to improve safety throughout its nationwide network of sites and for its drivers on the road, as well as to enhance employee engagement and foster a more inclusive culture across the business.

The digital system, developed by workplace operations technology company SafetyCulture, has been implemented by Kinaxia Logistics across its regional warehouses, offices, transport yards, fulfilment centres and fleet of vehicles.

Kinaxia is a top 15 UK logistics business which transports goods for the retail, leisure, food and drink and manufacturing sectors. With 1,600 staff, a fleet of 800 vehicles and 11 regional warehouses, it is one of the first UK logistics companies to adopt the SafetyCulture platform.

Stephen McCabe, Kinaxia’s quality, safety, health and environment (QSHE) director, said the technology has proved game-changing in numerous ways, including giving its entire workforce a greater voice, being more inclusive, offering greater responsibility, accessibility and accountability, and enhancing staff safety and wellbeing.

Since it began the rollout, reporting of safety issues or concerns has been positively actioned and Kinaxia has seen a 94 per cent reduction in lost time incidents and a 75 per cent fall in the number of RIDDOR accidents.

Kinaxia Logistics group, Mark Thompson Transport Ltd driver, Kirk Mount, saved a driver’s life when an incident happened on the M6 Toll Road in Birmingham

The figures demonstrate just how positive a role modern technology can play, when utilised in the right way, in the development of a company’s culture and improving employee engagement and safety standards.

The strategy has also spawned a huge and beneficial increase in employee engagement in safety reporting, with a rise from 160 notifications a year to 6,400.

Reports range from raising minor housekeeping matters such as obstructed walkways to larger issues such as near-misses.

Stephen says: “As a digital reporting system, SafetyCulture is having a tremendous impact, by providing the knowledge, tools and confidence to enable our teams to work more safely and meet higher standards.

“It allows limitless interaction across our sites and any UK delivery location. Its accessibility means that everyone has a voice and can play their part in helping to improve safety across our business, driven by an inclusive culture and engagement rather than purely by compliance.

“The strategy has been very well received across the business and has been a game-changer in a number of ways.

“It has brought safe operating practices to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and has empowered employees at all levels and locations with the ability to drive positive change in the workplace.”

Kinaxia’s version of SafetyCulture features a ‘Heads Up’ function to instantly send details to managers across the business about any potential issues or urgent action required. The action taken following each message is visible to all.

In the first phase of the rollout, Kinaxia implemented a new system of inspections, with greater emphasis on housekeeping and reporting incidents at site level.

Hundreds of QR codes were posted around its locations, providing employees with access to the reporting platform. Issues scanned via the QR code on mobile phones, or tablets in areas of the business where phones are not allowed,

Stephen said: “It provided us with a comprehensive understanding of our baseline position and transformed reporting overnight.”

In the second phase, the QR code system was rolled out to all vehicles in the fleet, from trucks to forklifts, enabling drivers to report safety issues from external locations as well as customer sites, with the ability to also upload images or video as supporting evidence.

Kinaxia has also made available accredited safety courses to everyone via a new e-learning platform, which currently has 1,200 users. It has also refreshed and extended the safety element of company inductions and has introduced tailored training for drivers with more emphasis on safe driving techniques, vehicle checks and compliance.

All data collected through the platform provides live dashboard reporting, enabling the company to capture trends and shape its strategy in a more rounded way to reduce risk in its workplaces.

The ‘Heads Up’ function also means safety messages can be sent to all employees, including warnings to drivers about adverse weather conditions such as high winds, and any relevant changes in legislation.

Kinaxia chief executive Michael Conroy says: “Safety across our operations is central to everything we do. The new strategy has not only improved our safety KPIs but has also empowered our colleagues with greater responsibility and the ability to contribute to their own and everyone’s welfare and safety.

“It’s had really tremendous buy-in from employees, giving them more control over the level of safety in their workplaces and boosting engagement.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to and complete transparency on firstly identifying challenges and resolving them, helping to drive engagement, a positive culture change and everyday focus on safe operations.”

Alexander Brook-Sykes, SafetyCulture’s head of go-to-market for the UK and Ireland, said: “Kinaxia came to us with a clear goal – to streamline their processes and become more efficient. With SafetyCulture, they are on the path to paperless operations, and are now saving time, improving traceability and increasing visibility for their leaders. They’re truly connecting every member of their organisation, no matter where they are.

“We’re honoured to be supporting Kinaxia Logistics in championing a worker-first mindset to health and safety.”

He added: “For those in the logistics and distribution sector, getting visibility and clarity over both dispersed workers operating out in the field and their fleet is always a challenge.

“SafetyCulture is committed to closing that gap. We help keep workers safe, empower leaders with data, prevent vehicle downtime, and empower everyone to report safety concerns or address potential risks.

“Our goal is to embed better ways of working into every organisation, by enabling their workforce with technology suited to their reality of work. When those on our frontlines are given a voice and connected to their leaders and the organisation as a whole, it creates an engine for improvement that drives success at every level.”

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